We don’t see, we recognize

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

we don’t see, we recognize

Have you ever saw someone and thought that he was one of your friends but upon approaching him you found that he was someone else?

Have you ever heard something then after thinking about it you discovered that you heard something else rather than what was said?

Have your ever read a line or a word thinking that its something then after reading it again you discovered that it's something else?

If we assumed that your sight and hearing abilities are functioning well then what is happening?

The answer is very simple, we don’t see or hear but we recognize things!!
This is how your mind operates. To understand the whole story just take a look at the following example.

Example for recognizing instead of seeing

Suppose that you were working for a company called “spot”, and while driving you saw a a road sign with the word “stop” written on it. Most probably on the first instance you will read it “spot” because your mind will try to recognize the word first by checking whether it matches anything in your knowledge base or not.

As a result you might read it “spot” instead of “stop” but when your minds finds that its not logical to have a road sign with "spot" written on it, it will then correct it for you.So two steps that happened are:

1-you recognized the word by finding the closest match.
2-you actually read the word.

What’s funny is that a person who works as a traffic man may read the logo of your company “stop” instead of “spot” and then his mind will correct it.

This is the same as seeing someone then thinking that he is your friend. In that case your mind checks the person first to see if he matches any of your friends or relatives knowledge base and if no match was found then it corrects the view and let's you discover who that person is.

Even in love

It’s worth to mention that if you love someone your mind will try to always find him for you.

This is why you may see many people looking like him everywhere you go.

when reading or hearing

The same goes with hearing and reading, your mind just tries to recognize first and then read or hear correctly as a second step.

This is one of the main concepts that speed reading is built upon. You just train yourself to recognize words and phrases instead of reading them and so this results in a faster speed of reading.

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